Ruthless Limerick bring Offaly back to earth with a bang
Kevin Martin’s side can’t build on Dublin win as they are thrashed at O’Connor Park
Aaron Gillane scored 1-8 for Limerick against Offaly. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Limerick 1-24 Offaly 0-10
A ruthless Limerick team emphatically brought Offaly back down to earth with an impressive demolition job in O’Connor Park on Sunday.
Offaly were on a high after their shock win over Dublin and the home supporters turned out in their biggest numbers in years as they hoped that win was a sign of a revival. Unfortunately for them, reality came calling and Limerick were certainly not in the mood for handing out any bouquets.
Offaly fought hard on the day and gave an honest afternoon’s toil but there was a vast difference in skill, intensity and physicality as Limerick got on top in almost every department as it wore on.
Limerick are a lot further down the development road than Kevin Martin’s side, and the extent of the difference was laid bare for all to see here. The 1-24 to 0-10 final scoreline gives an accurate reflection of the way this game progressed.
Limerick always looked like winning this one but they were helped by the dismissal of Offaly defender Dermot Shortt for a second yellow card thirteen minutes into the second half. They were home and dry at that stage anyway but really cut loose after this as they pulled away for a whopping seventeen point win.
In front of almost 4,500 Offaly were very competitive early on as the sides went toe-to-toe. The sides were level at 0-5 each after 20 minutes but a penalty miss from Damien Egan seemed to undermine Offaly’s confidence.
Gradually Limerick got on top and by half time they had pulled five points clear, 0-12 to 0-7.
Offaly were still in it but the writing was on the wall. Limerick were seven points to the good when Shortt saw red and they took advantage with great efficiency.
The game’s top scorer Aaron Gillane scored the only goal with sixteen minutes to go to give them a 1-17 to 0-9 lead and they simply coasted home from here, adding a further seven points while Offaly could only reply once.
Limerick: N Quaid; S Finn, S Hickey, R English; D Byrnes (0-2), D Morrissey, P O’Loughlin; P Browne (0-3), C Lynch (0-1); T Morrissey (0-1), D O’Donovan (0-3, 0-1f), B O’Connell; A Gillane (1-8, 0-6f), S Flanagan (0-1), G Hegarty (0-3). Subs: B Murphy for O’Donovan (53), D Reidy 0-1 for Morrissey (58), O O’Reilly 0-1 for Hegarty, A LaTouche Cosgrove for Lynch (both 63), L Lyons for Gillane (67)
Offaly: C Slevin; T Spain, S Gardiner, B Conneely; D O’Toole, P Camon, D Shortt; D King, S Kinsella (0-1); D Egan (0-6, 0-4f), C Egan, D Currams (0-1); T Geraghty (0-1), C Mahon, O Kelly. Subs: S Dooley for Geraghty (HT), C Kiely for King (45), P Rigney for Mahon (57), C Gath(0-1) for Kelly, C Cleary for C Egan (both 61).
Referee: S Cleere (Kilkenny).